Peace Treaty

Oral Answers to Questions — Japan – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th April 1951.

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Photo of Mr Luke Teeling Mr Luke Teeling , Brighton, Pavilion 12:00 am, 30th April 1951

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what alterations he proposes to make in the British proposals on the draft treaty for peace with Japan in view of the recent Pacific Defence Agreement proposals, announced by the United States of America, and because of Australia's announcement that she no longer wishes to make reservations concerning the American draft peace treaty.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Younger Mr Kenneth Younger , Grimsby

The answer is "None, Sir." His Majesty's Government were aware of the discussions for a Pacific defence arrangement and took them into account in putting forward their proposals for a draft treaty of peace with Japan. As regards the second part of the Question, I am not aware that the Government of Australia has stated that it no longer wishes to make reservations concerning the American draft peace treaty with Japan.

Photo of Mr Luke Teeling Mr Luke Teeling , Brighton, Pavilion

Is it not true that the representative of Australia in Japan at present is reported publicly to have stated that there is now no need in any way to disagree with the United States arrangements and that the British suggestions for a peace treaty were—I believe these were his words—"not sufficiently realistic"? Are we to understand that Great Britain will be the only country left insisting on Peking being brought into the peace treaty?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Younger Mr Kenneth Younger , Grimsby

I do not think I have any information, other than a Press report, of what the Australian representative is alleged to have said. All I said in my reply was that I am not aware that—even in the Press statement the hon. Gentleman was describing—the Australian Government no longer wishes to make any reservations concerning the draft peace treaty.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

What is the position now about the draft treaty proposals? Shall we have an opportunity of knowing what we shall be committed to before we are committed to it?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Younger Mr Kenneth Younger , Grimsby

Yes, Sir. I am answering a Question in a moment on this matter. I hope it will be possible to make a statement quite soon.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can now give further information as to the progress there has been towards a peace treaty with Japan; as to what discussions are now taking place; and when a definite statement can be made.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Younger Mr Kenneth Younger , Grimsby

Two working drafts of the peace treaty with Japan are now under discussion in Washington. The first was prepared by the U.S. Government and the second by His Majesty's Government. It is hoped that these discussions will lead to a considerable measure of agreement. Consultation is taking place between His Majesty's Government and Commonwealth Governments and preliminary comments on our draft have already been received from the Governments of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These are now being studied. It has not yet been decided whether a peace conference will be held. I hope to be in a position to make a fuller statement on the subject in a week or two.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

Would the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that these peace discussions are causing more than ordinary interest, and will the Government consider how they can best act so that the House may have an opportunity to express its views and, I trust, its agreement with whatever the Government are trying to do?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Younger Mr Kenneth Younger , Grimsby

If the right hon. Gentleman is suggesting a debate, that is not a matter for me, but I entirely agree with his general sentiments.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

Can the hon. Gentleman say when these discussions are likely to lead to finality?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Younger Mr Kenneth Younger , Grimsby

If by finality is meant the signing of a treaty, I could not give any estimate. I said I hoped that they would have gone far enough to enable the Government to make a statement in a week or two.

Air Commodore Harvey:

In these discussions will the hon. Gentleman reserve the right to include the question of compensation to Far East ex-prisoners-of-war?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Younger Mr Kenneth Younger , Grimsby

I think I answered a question on that just recently.